Hello world. Thanks for dropping by.
I've been torn as to whether to start blogging with a bang or a whimper. If you're reading this on post day, you'll know the whimper theory won out. Mainly because if I kept waiting for a bang, I realized I might never get started.
Finding my blog voice has been a challenge. How do I fuse who I am and what I know into an interesting and entertaining series of posts – ones that won't bore even me? For the answer, I looked at what defines me today and thought about how that contrasts with what defined me yesterday. Which made me realize I am a different person with a different life and different priorities today than I was just 5 or 10 – or 30 -- years ago.
How about you? How much has changed in your life? What milestones have diverted you along your life path?
While there were times I would have defined who I am in terms of gymnast, glider pilot, or melee fighter and swashbuckler in the Society for Creative Anachronism, those days are behind me. As are my days as a Registered Veterinary Technician, dog trainer, and enthusiastic weekend movie-goer. These things all shape the current me, however, and without them, I would be a much different person in the here-now.
So what might you find here in upcoming posts? I've grouped my current interests and talents into two broad categories: writing and farm life.
I'm a writer/editor for a mega-huge global IT company. While I write about technology and have an entirely too geeky understanding of a broad range of technical things from applications to networking hardware, I loathe technical writing. Instead, I write persuasive copy: proposals, marketing collateral, white papers, etc. As I've been doing this for over 20 years, I not only do it pretty well, I make a fairly decent living at it. Sadly, it's not very fulfilling.
Before I got into the technology field almost a generation ago, I was an evaluator for a distributor of K-12 educational books and other teaching aids. The owners cared deeply about their catalog offerings and it was my job to ensure we accepted only the best and to filter out anything that smacked of discrimination (family, career, gender, religion, race, etc.). I wrote catalog descriptions for the material we accepted and at lunch got to watch wonderful classic movies submitted to us to be part of our inventory. It was a great job. Sadly, it didn't pay much.
I hold an M.A. in English and taught freshman composition while taking graduate classes. Sadly, I was never able to make a career out of being a perennial student.
I also dabble in creative writing. I've sold a handful of short stories and have written a handful of novels. Along the way, I discovered that my catalog copywriting and advertising/marketing background gave me a knack for crafting effective query letters. As I'm more a content editor than a copyeditor, I have nothing new to add to the wealth of quality "how-to" writing information already available in the blogosphere. What I can provide is the occasional query critique or rewrite and the occasional rant about writing-related topics. If you have a query you'd like me to critique publicly, send it over.
I grew up in middle-class suburbia, but my heart has always been rural. In the early 90s, I moved out to the country, alone, on 14 acres. I didn't have much money and the community was what would be considered poor "trailer trash". I had a couple of Dobermans, not simply because I liked the breed, but because I felt I needed the protection. I dreamed of horses. Reality gave me a 40-minute commute into the city and a job with long hours. There simply wasn't enough time for a career, upkeep of the property, and equines. After 5 horseless years, I moved back to suburbia.
Flash forward to now. While there is much about my current job to complain about, one thing overshadows it all: I work from home. In fact, the company encourages remote workers. It supplies my laptop, wireless connection, international calling card, permanent conferencing number, and persistent virtual room so I can connect with my immediate and extended team members around the world from the comfort of my home office.
Five years ago I moved onto 19 acres about 60 miles north of Dallas. Last year, I annexed an additional 8 acres from a neighbor. The area is modest middle-class. So far, I've only improved about 5 acres to house a few animals: 4 miniature horses, 2 pygmy goats, 5 ducks, 3 guineas, 25 chickens, 3 dogs, 4 cats, 1 iguana and some finches and parakeets. The goal is to one day provide a haven for a few abused or homeless animals in need of a forever home. There's a lot of work that needs to be done before that can happen, and right now job obligations, general upkeep of what's here now, and taking care of my dad (who lives in a separate residence on the property and has been debilitated by a stroke) takes up far too much time to consider taking on any more responsibilities at present.
So What Does All This Have To Do With Blogging?
Yes, well, there is a connection. I plan to post 3 times a week.
Wednesdays, I'll tackle all things writerly, from query letter critiques to observations about the act of committing prose to paper. Be warned: I'm a liberal when it comes to grammar. If you're a grammar snob, you will likely be offended by my attitude toward the written word. If you shudder at any of the following statements, avoid this blog on Wednesdays:
- Stylistic sentence frags are OK.
- First and second person in business correspondence is OK.
- All those gray areas in style that Strunk and White try to pigeonhole into black or white? Not really worth arguing about.
- Grammar is graceful and fluid and evolves with each new generation. Rules change. That's a good thing.
Mondays I'll reserve for all things miscellaneous. Be prepared for anything. I know I will be.
I'm also considering a Saturday or Sunday post about science-related topics: links to new discoveries/innovations, articles about medicine or paleontology or whatever else strikes my fancy. But I'll see how time-consuming 3 posts a week is to start.
- Miscellaneous Mondays
- Writerly Wednesdays
- Farm Fridays
- Science Saturdays (tentative)
I look forward to spending time with you. Virtually, of course, nothing stalkerish. Or maybe I'll just be talking to myself. That would be OK, too. I do that often enough that it doesn't feel so weird any more.